When I was growing up in the 70's it was not uncommon to hear all the pundits and press refer to USC a as Tailback U. The lineage of USC running backs is legendary. Both John McKay and John Robinson recruited some unbelievable talent.
The quarterback position has always been the glory position, the captain of the ship so to speak. So while SC was never known as a quarterback school they had some pretty good QB's in the program. Pat Haden, Paul MacDonald, Rodney Peete, Vince Evans etc. And while the running back tradition at USC is pretty strong, the arrival of Norm Chow turned SC into a QB mill of sorts with both Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart winning Heisman's under his tutelage the stable talent at the QB position is at its strongest for as long as I remember. The press has taken note as John David Booty is now in the spotlight.
Running backs 5, Quarterbacks 2.
But as time passes, and as USC continues to pass, the running backs figure to lose ground in this in-house race for glory.
Tailback U? Try Quarterbacks R Us.
Two of the last five Heisman Trophy winners were USC quarterbacks -- Carson Palmer in 2002, Matt Leinart in 2004.
Booty has been thrust in the spotlight with the success of USC football and with it comes a lot of expectations and a lot of pressure. There have obviously been some questions with Booty's production that us seen as generally pretty but two critically tipped passes hat lead to stinging losses still have some people wondering is he for real. There is no question that last year has given more than enough preparation heading into this year and his leadership will be needed as he now needs to rely on two new receivers who will be in the huddle full time.
Unless I am mistaken, I think the Heisman comes down to Booty and McFadden. Booty has the advantage, at least in my eyes, because of USC's high profile. McFadden is a stud and will carry most of the work load at Arkansas but if Booty can stay consistent and not have any "bad" games I think he can win the award. Others are better at analyzing it and figuring it out but I think he can do it.